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Dryer Repair Nightmare Comes To An End, No Thanks To Select Home Warranty

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A suburban woman's struggle to get her broken dryer fixed has come to a close, but no thanks to the home warranty company she enlisted for repairs.

For weeks, Jenny D'Agostino was hanging socks from her bannisters, draping blankets on chairs and hanging other laundry all over her house, because she couldn't use her dryer.

"I hate living like this," she said.

She blamed Select Home Warranty, a company she had been paying about $50 a month to protect her against sudden breakdowns of her home appliances.

D'Agostino paid a $100 fee for her broken freezer on Jan. 28, and $100 for her broken dryer on Feb 12. She said the technician told her he had to order a part, but she never heard from him again.

She said Select Home Warranty told her they would assign another technician free of charge, but that's not what happened. She was asked to pay another $100 for the dryer and another $100 for the freezer, even though the original technician was missing in action.

When CBS 2 checked up on her a couple weeks after the original interview, her dryer was still broken.

"I really thought that it was going to be fixed," D'Agostino said. "I have a few choice words, but I can't use them right now."

So CBS 2 called the technician assigned to her case by Select Home Warranty, and he finally fixed it for free, and at his own expense, because Select wouldn't approve the repair.

"It's like they didn't even care," D'Agostino said.

Select eventually told D'Agostino it would replace her dryer because of its age, but it would only give her $282 for a new one.

Why? Because buried in the fine print, the company lists a $500 cap on appliances, and Select said it already paid more than $200 on the previous repair for the dryer.

"I don't even have words for them," D'Agostino said.

Select's website warns in large font about the high cost to replace various appliances and systems, but limits on coverage are in tiny print on the fourth page of their contract.

Select did not respond to questions sent via phone, email, fax and chat; but when CBS 2 filled out an online form asking for information to buy a warranty, calls and emails came in right away, and didn't stop.

When CBS 2's Lauren Victory contacted Select Home Warranty as a potential customer, curious if they'd acknowledge the limits on repairs that D'Agostino learned the hard way, a representative said the cap is $15,000 a year.

When she called again, and spoke to a different representative, about that $15,000 annual limit, he told her not to worry.

A third representative told her to pay no mind to the fine print, claiming the $15,000 limit can be spread across appliances. That's nowhere near the $282 the company said it would pay for D'Agostino's dryer.

"I would like to warn people out there, do not use this company. Stay clear, clear, clear far away from them," D'Agostino said.

D'Agostino said she's relieved she finally can use her dryer, but her freezer is still broken, despite paying $100 for a service call to Select months ago. There's still no freezer repair on the horizon for her.

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